The primary cause of the Houston riot was the habitual brutality of the white police officers of Houston in their treatment of colored people. Contributing causes were (1) the mistake made in not arming members of the colored provost guard or military police, (2) lax discipline at Camp Logan which permitted promiscuous visiting at the camp and made drinking and immorality possible among the soldiers. ~ Martha Gruenig, Crisis Magazine, November 1917
The Houston Riot of 1917 was one of the saddest chapters in the history of American race relations. It vividly illustrated the problems that the nation struggled with on the home front during wartime. ~ Texas State Historical Association
Around noon that day, police dragged an African American woman from her home and arrested her for public drunkenness. A soldier from the camp asked what was going on, and was beaten and arrested as well. When Cpl. Charles Baltimore, an MP, learned of the arrest he went to the police station to investigate. He was beaten, then shot at as he was chased away. Rumors soon reached the camp that Baltimore had been killed, and that a white mob was approaching. Soldiers armed themselves and began their march toward the city.
The New York chapter of the NAACP petitioned President Wilson for clemency. The War Department had issued a ruling that "all death sentences be suspended until the President of the United States could review all records". Wilson commuted the sentences of ten of the eleven soldiers sentenced at the third court-martial, sentencing them to life in prison.
LOCAL UNIT INFORMATION and
BLACK HISTORY BLOG FEATURING EVENTS AND PEOPLE CONNECTED TO TEXAS OR NAACP.
SOME DAYS ARE DATE-SPECIFIC, SO CHECK THE BIRTHDAYS!
"It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have." ~ James Baldwin
"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.